Saturday, 26 July 2014

From symbol of hope to incarnation of sleaze, lies and greed: This week marks 20 years since Tony Blair became Labour leader. Now Dominic Sandbrook asks - has any former PM sunk so low?

Daily Mail
Two decades on, Mr Blair’s star could hardly have plunged to lower depths. His story has become perhaps the ultimate political morality tale, and far from being remembered as a symbol of youthful innocence, he now seems the incarnation of spin, sleaze and naked self-interest.
Of course, the journey from saviour to scapegoat is one of the most familiar political trajectories of all. However, the extraordinary thing about Tony Blair’s 20-year odyssey is that it has been so drastic and so complete. Thanks to the endless corruption scandals, the cash for peerages row, the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and the shameless pursuit of post-premiership wealth, his image is now so tarnished that it takes real effort to recall the atmosphere in July 1994, when he was elected to succeed the late John Smith as leader of the Labour Party.      .........
Of course, talk is cheap. But when he became Prime Minister three years later, Tony Blair had probably the best inheritance of any new government in the 20th century. Not only was the economy buoyant, but the Thatcher governments of the Eighties had taken most of the difficult decisions for him. There was no need to confront the unions, the IRA or the Soviet Union — all had effectively been beaten.  .......Right from the start, he and his henchmen, notably the bullying Alastair Campbell, encouraged a culture of shameless mendacity and obsessive control-freakery. In power, these tendencies became exaggerated. Cabinet government gave way to sofa government and television showmanship took precedence over parliamentary democracy.   .........
Instead, in an apparent bid to prove that he lacks an iota of shame, irony or self-knowledge, Mr Blair decided that it was his mission to bring peace to the Middle East. Well, given that Israel and the Palestinians have spent the past week firing rockets at each other, we all know how that worked out.
On top of that, Mr Blair has spent the past seven years whoring himself around the world. He is now worth an estimated £30 million — although he insisted this week the figure was nearer £20 million — having been said to have taken £125,000 from the Chinese for a  single speech on philanthropy, as well as a reported $13 million from Kazakhstan’s autocratic president Nursultan Nazarbayev in return for unspecified ‘advice’. Blair denied making any personal profit."

Sunday, 20 July 2014

This weak and timid President talks big... and does nothing: A devastating attack on Obama by a top Washington insider

Daily Mail
  • Clark S. Judge believes Obama's reaction to the tragedy was 'disconnected'
  • Immediately 'reverted to script' to praise his administration
  • Former adviser to Ronald Reagan says it confirms 'chaos' of foreign policy 

Monday, 14 July 2014

All good scams must end

The Black Steam Train
A few years ago, I casually complained to my local YMCA about their 'Indigenous' display.  I wanted to let them know that what they had done had the potential to offend people, despite how well-meaning they were obviously trying to be.  I expected an answer in the realm of 'we read a history book and that was our inspiration', but was taken aback when instead I was informed that this was the work of a local traditional owner, who oversaw the entire project.

This was the first whiff I had of Scammers posing as Aborigines right under my own nose.  So I started to hunt around, and in my searches, became all too familiar with the name Sonia Murray, aka Scams a'Plenty. ...."

Saturday, 12 July 2014

Inside President Obama’s secret schedule


There’s what the White House announces to the world he’s doing. And then there’s what he really does. "

Sunday, 6 July 2014

America at the Crossroads on the Fourth of July

Roger L Simon, PJ Media
America is at a crossroads — we always seem to be, but this time we really are.
We are living under the administration of a president that is now the least popular since World War II.  A full one-third  of those polled by Quinnipiac rate Barack Obama the worst president since 1945.  (Reagan is rated the best.) What accounts for this?  There are dozens of reasons that have been detailed on these pages and many others.  The man has lied to us multiple times — and to himself as well, no doubt — and many people now apparently sense this.  But I think the deepest reason, the motivating cause, stems from a time Barack Obama actually didn’t lie, but told an important truth.
Back on July 27, 2004, a then obscure Illinois senator made himself famous by standing in front of the Democratic National Convention and speaking these words: “There is not a liberal America and a conservative America. There is a United States of America. There is not a black America and a white America, a Latino America, an Asian America — there’s the United States of America.”
Did he believe those words?  Maybe. Once upon a time.  But evidently not very deeply. The fact is he betrayed them completely and almost everything he has done wrong has stemmed from that betrayal.  He has acted in the most partisan and deceitful manner, surrounding himself with a tiny group of yes-women and yes-men,  making a mockery of his self-proclaimed transparency, shamelessly exploiting interest groups in a way that could only divide our society while diminishing America’s place in the world,  and allowing evil forces to grow across the globe.
All of this while being convinced he is always doing the right thing. The rest of us are wrong.  He is not the commander-in-chief. He is the moral narcissist in chief.  It’s not “I think, therefore I am.”  It’s “I believe — therefore it is.”
But most of the country seems to realize that now.  And his poll numbers reflect it.  Sometimes it seems as if his only real supporters are government employees, food stamp recipients,  and the editorial board of the New York Times.  Whatever the case, that 2004 speech to the DNC is so far in the rear view mirror we might as well be on Battlestar Galactica."

Saturday, 5 July 2014

The Imperial President and the Imperious Idiot

The Founding Fathers were very concerned that the President should NOT have this kind of imperial powers, and for good reason. They’d seen the damage that strong-men had done in a variety of monarchies and tyrannies. So they devised a system of “separation of powers”—Congress makes the laws, the President enforces the laws, and the Supreme Court interprets the laws.
Sadly, we have fallen very far from that, and President Obama has done immense damage to that system by “solving” every problem, from glitches with Obamacare to interim appointments to immigration reform to destroying coal plants, by imperial proclamation. At this point, all I can do is fervently hope he doesn’t listen to Lester Brown …
Gotta say … 2016 can’t come fast enough for me."